AMU VC Reaches Times House,Admits Mistake

NEW DELHI - In a move to explain his points and sweeten the recent soured relations between Aligarh Muslim University and Times of India, Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. Zameeruddin Shah reached Times House, the head office of the national English daily here Tuesday evening. The VC met Executive Editor Arindam Sengupta, Senior Editor Vikas Singh and Aligarh correspondent of the daily whose story on the VC’s alleged sexist statement had created a storm 10 days ago.

“The meeting lasted for almost 2 hours, and was conducted in a very cordial atmosphere, and ended on a happy note,” said Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju who mediated the meeting.

“The Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, General Zameeruddin Shah, telephoned me from Aligarh this morning (Tuesday) and said that he was coming to Delhi for some work, and could I arrange a meeting between the Editor of ‘ Times of India ‘ and him. I said it is no problem. I then telephoned my friend Arindam Sengupta, the Executive Editor of ‘ Times of India ‘, and said that the Vice Chancellor of AMU would like to meet him in the evening. Arindam immediately agreed, and suggested that the Vice Chancellor meet him in the Times House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg at 5.30 p.m. I conveyed this to the Vice Chancellor, and requested him to meet me at my residence after his meeting with Arindam. The Vice Chancellor met Arindam in the latter’s office in the evening. Mr. Vikas Singh, the Senior Editor, and the lady journalist of Times of India posted in Aligarh were also present in the meeting,” Justice Katju wrote on his facebook page a little past midnight Tuesday.

At the installation ceremony of AMU’s Women’s College students union on 10 Nov, the VC had said that if girls were allowed in the Maulana Azad Library, the central library of the university, there would be a rush of boys. A section of media led by Times of India termed it as a ban on girls in the library. However, the university administration later clarified that the central library already has 2700 women students as members, and there was no question of any ban. The university also said that there is an exclusive library for undergraduate girl students in the premises of the women’s college of the university, and so they are not allowed in the central library to avoid overcrowding.

However, the VC was widely condemned for his statement. Students also criticized him but they also got together against the biased reporting by a section of media over the issue. They held a huge protest demonstration on 12 Nov and later the VC called for a ban on the entry of Times of India in the campus.

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